They will no longer be loading or unloading any cargo from any Russian ship. Dockworkers on the U.S. West Coast are taking a stand against the invasion of Ukraine and doing so by sending a clear message of condemnation of what is going on.
20 thousand dockworkers have decided to cross their arms in protest. 29 ports are involved in the ban of Russian ships and goods, from Bellingham (Washington State) to San Diego (California).
Two of the West Coast’s major container ports – Los Angeles and Long Beach – are also taking part.
There is not a lot of Russian goods loaded or unloaded at the two ports of call; just a very small percentage. According to Los Angeles Port Authority President ,Gene Seroka, less than two-tenths of 1 percent of all goods handled by the port comes from or is going to Russia.
The situation is not very different at the port of Long Beach, where, in 2021, just over 11 thousand containers arrived from Russia; a trifle compared to the 9.4 million TEUs imported overall.
What matters, however, is the gesture. “West Coast dockworkers are proud to do their part to join with those around the world who are bravely taking a stand and making sacrifices for the good of Ukraine,” said International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) President Willie Adams.
Meanwhile, Canadian ILWU President Rob Ashton urged Prime Minister Justine Trudeau to stop all maritime trade with Russia and its allies, and to ban all Russian-flagged, Russian-owned ships from the country’s ports.
He said that they were calling on the Canadian government to ensure that all cargo coming from Russia or bound for Russia on any vessel would be stopped and that Canadian goods bound for Russia would be blocked.
Translation by Giles Foster